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A frozen foods plant had to be evacuated after a gas leak in Fruitland, Idaho, according to Boise NBC affiliate KTVB.
A cloud of anhydrous ammonia billowed out of the Dickinson's Frozen Foods plant late on July 31, according to the Fruitland Police Department. Workers at the facility reported the leak shortly before 9 p.m. Firefighters responded quickly and assisted employees out of the building. No one was reportedly injured.
The police department stated that an Idaho hazardous materials unit was able to enter the building, stop the ammonia from leaking further, and eventually cleaned up the gas.
Ammonia is a colorless, toxic gas often used in the food packaging industry as a refrigerant. At extremely high levels of exposure, it can cause severe burning of the eyes, nose and throat. It can cause lung damage, blindness and even death. A toxic gas detector shows the level of toxicity in the air and can prevent gases like ammonia from causing severe damage and loss of life.
Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection.